The film will be followed by a discussion with the director and members of the ITSC, and from there we will adjourn to the Róisín Dubh pub for a singing session.
FimtTickets priced at €10 (plus fees) are available here:
The session at the Róisín Dubh is free and all are welcome!
When Bob Gallagher contacted ITSC back in 2020, little did we think that three years later, we would be heading to the 2023 Galway Film Fleadh for the world premiere of a feature documentary on Inishowen songs and singers.
The project began with an ITSC idea to invite friends, Ian Lynch (Lankum), Ye Vagabonds and The Henry Girls to create their own interpretations of songs from the Inishowen Song Project, and have them recorded to share online. The Inishowen Song Project was a digital exhibition featuring the archival recordings of local songs and singers made by Jimmy McBride over a period of 40 years, and hosted by the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
In 2020, Bob Gallagher, a Dublin based filmmaker and singer with Inishowen connections, was interested in learning more about songs and singers from the Peninsula. But as we all remember, the years 2020-2022 brought a halt to meeting in person, and ITSC moved online for sessions, and our 2021 Singing Weekend. Bob quickly threw himself into our digital life, sharing his extensive experience and skills as a filmmaker to create short films for the 2021 online festival. From that point, a bond of friendship and creativity quickly emerged, and ITSC stepped into the world of filmmaking guided by Bob’s unique vision.
The 60 minute documentary features Ian Lynch (Lankum), Ye Vagabonds and The Henry Girls arranging and singing six songs from Clonmany and Buncrana singers: Roseanne McGonigle, Dan McGonigle, Mary Ann Canny, Corney McDaid, and a visitor to Inishowen, Ardara singer Packie Manus Byrne. The recordings are framed within Inishowen's stunning landscape, interwoven with atmospheric archival recordings of the original singers, and interviews with contemporary members of the Inishowen song community.
The film is a fitting and important tribute to the singers and songs of Inishowen, the incredible vision of Jimmy McBride in founding the Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle and to the enduring power of the Inishowen song tradition.
It has been our pleasure to work with Bob’s wonderful crew of cinematographers, editors, sound engineers, and post production professionals. We are especially delighted that local sound engineer Neil McGrory, and cinematographer Liam Hirrell were part of the team. Funding for the film was provided by ITSC, the Arts Council of Ireland, Donegal County Council, and the generous support of Homebird Productions and Wonderbread Films.
Finally we thank Bob for his friendship, his creative vision, and the morning-to-night commitment he has shown to bring the story of Inishowen songs and singers to new audiences.
Bob Gallagher is a multi award winning director, writer and producer, described as a 'good soldier of cinema' by Werner Herzog, and as 'one of the nation's premiere creative forces in the visual arts' by Totally Dublin. He has directed drama and documentary films, and created some of the most iconoclastic music videos to emerge from Ireland in recent years, working with artists such as Gilla Band, Junior Brother, Pillow Queens and Lankum.
Bob is also a traditional singer and active participant in Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle events.
Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle (ITSC) is a vibrant voluntary community organisation, established in 1988, dedicated to the preservation, and promotion of the rich, living tradition of song in the Inishowen peninsula, County Donegal. We strive to keep an enduring tradition of social singing accessible, relevant, and alive for everyone through a year long series of projects and events, including a singing festival held annually in March. It is regularly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Donegal County Council.
Since its formation ITSC has championed the value of archival recording, amassing an extensive multimedia collection of local singers and visitors to our community. Through funding from the Heritage Council and Inishowen Development Partnership, ITSC has partnered with the Irish Traditional Music Archive to digitise, preserve and provide access to these collections.
For further information, images, interviews, please contact: Grace Toland, Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle.
Tel: +353 (0)87 2903799